How graphics and sound facilitate and enhance gameplay

Of course it would seem like I'm dancing around your point. You seem to think I'm making a claim that I'm not making.

Okay, let's back up then. In the OP you say:

There's this idea floating around that gameplay is somehow separate from audio and video.

I don't know anyone who says this.

But I propose that they are actually a part of gameplay because of their ability to convey information (which even board games like chess or vocal games like word chain need to do).

I propose that water is wet and bears shit in the woods.

  • The interaction that makes up gameplay necessarily contains means by which the player can alter the game state as well as means by which the player perceives information about it (including any changes). In a video game, we use input (keyboard, gamepad, etc) to affect the game state, and output (screen, speakers) to observe it.

Obvious statement is obvious.

  • Without those parts, interaction is not possible. Take away the input, and the player can’t act. Take away the output and the player can’t figure out how to act or what their actions do, if anything. It would be like playing chess without the other player acknowledging your move or making one of their own. Contrary to the typical view of graphics and sound as separate from gameplay, they are actually a part of it. The information doesn’t need to be auditory or visual, but we have precise and widespread technology to produce those sensations, whereas the smellovision doesn’t exist.

Another ridiculously obvious statement.

  • Conveying more and better information (via improved graphics and sound) actually facilitates finer controls because it gives the player more and more understandable data on which to act. (e.g. you can better manage your resources if you know their amounts) It also makes the game feel better to play if actions have noticeable effects. Failures do not seem as much “the game’s fault” when the game is transparent (aside from things explicitly hidden by the rules).

And another.

  • It can create a feedback loop. A player’s action changes the game state, which changes sensations the player perceives, which affects their mental processing, which affects their resulting action. Think of a horror game where fear can cause the player to act differently from normal. That feeling of fear was itself evoked by some kind of audiovisual feedback. Separating out the feelings, thoughts, and emotions evoked by the graphics and sound from the gameplay doesn’t work, because these things affect the player’s mental processing, and in turn their next action. Both of which are vital to gameplay.

I mean, how dumb do you think we are? So, we're left with this:

So I don’t think it’s correct to write off graphics and sound as unimportant relative to gameplay. In fact, they enable and improve it. But what do you think?

Which is where the disagreement with your statements began. Graphics and sound can enable and improve gameplay, it can also hinder it.

Do you think I'm missing something important?

See my previous sentence.

Have you seen any games make good use of the feedback effect that can happen?

I dunno, every single decent game ever made?

Are you still sure that graphics don't matter?

When the statement is made in the context it is most often used (as I described above), yes. Absolutely.

To, the tl;dr is that you made a bunch of insulting obvious (yet long winded) statements about how video games require visuals, and then you asked a couple of questions. I attempted to discuss the questions you've asked, and you've spent the last few comments ignoring my statements and re-stating your initial points. If you'd like to actually address the statements I've made, I'm still interested in your take... if you'd only bother to respond to my actual comments.

/r/truegaming Thread